In their study, Rahimi and Javahery put 16 healthy - I quote - "non-sportsperson male students" ;-), aged 20-27y on a 5x a week massage regimen (15-20 min) that had, if not outstanding, then at least statistically significant results:
The results of correlated t test show that the mean values of skin fold fat of the stomach are of the participants before and after the massage program was 36.81 and 36.12 respectively, which shows a significant decrease after 30 sessions of massage (p=0.036).- 2% skin fold: You are not impressed? Well, me neither. Although the increased blood flow to the subcutaneous fat pads may, as the scientists speculate, have a beneficial effect on local fat mobilization, I would suggest you better spend the time in the gym or doing sprints on the track to not only mobilize, but also oxidize these stubborn and unaesthetic fat pads and simultaneously improve your cardiac and metabolic health.
On a side note: If there is anything significant to learn from this study, it is that sometimes, even scientists try to trick you into believing that what they found (similar to what supplement companies sell) is a great thing. Look at the following graph from the study:
|Figure 1: pretest (1) and posttest (2) mean values of the subcutaneous fat of the stomach area of the participants (Rahimi. 2011)|